Robert L. Payton Award for Voluntary Service
Please complete the online nomination form that provides a brief biographical summary highlighting the nominee's contributions in the following areas:
- Leadership in advancement programs within any area of institutional advancement: communications (public relations, media relations, publications, and others), alumni relations or philanthropy (fundraising, advancement services, and others). List significant or outstanding achievements.
- Furtherance of the philanthropic tradition, spirit of volunteer service, or financial commitment.
- Public articulation of the needs, goals, and current issues in higher education.
Entry materials for any one nomination should not exceed five pages. Please also include a headshot JPEG (300 dpi or greater) and a 200 word (max.) professional bio.
Victor E. Salerno
Victor E. Salerno has been Chief Executive Officer of O’Connell Electric Company since 2006. Founded in 1911, O’Connell Electric is one of the top 50 electrical contractors in the United States. Mr. Salerno joined O’Connell in 1971 where he has remained instrumental in the company’s growth and expansion. He leads through exhibiting a passion for the business and demonstrating integrity. A champion of the company’s dedication to quality and innovation, he excels at fostering strong, trusting partnerships with customers and the communities where he works and builds strong relationships among employees.
Mr. Salerno graduated with a BBA in accounting from St. John Fisher College and is a Certified Public Accountant. In 2011, he and his wife, Eileen, made the largest gift ever from an alumnus to Fisher to fund the construction of the Victor E. Salerno Center for American Enterprise, a 27,000-square-foot building that houses the College’s School of Business. In 2019, he made his second, seven-figure commitment to Fisher and agreed to serve as chairman of Fisher Forward, the largest fundraising campaign in the history of the College.
About Robert L. Payton
Robert L. Payton was a pioneer in the field of philanthropy and played a leading role in establishing philanthropy as an academic discipline. Payton was the nation's first full-time professor of Philanthropic Studies and the first full-time executive director of the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University.
An active CASE volunteer, he served on the CASE Board of Trustees and on the CASE Commission on Senior Professionals, and was a frequent speaker and author. He received the CASE Distinguished Service to Education Award in 1984.
In retirement, Payton spent a significant amount of his time writing and lecturing on the subject of philanthropy for foundations, community groups, scholars, and students. He died in 2011.